BCHC urges Congress to fund CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health at $310 million to combat youth tobacco use

March 2024


BCHC signed onto a letter urging Congress to fund CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) at $310 million. Increased funding for OSH is needed to make substantial progress in reducing youth tobacco use, including e-cigarettes, and the devastating toll that tobacco continues to take on our nation’s health.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, responsible for more than 480,000 deaths and approximately $241 billion in health care costs each year. Nearly one in three heart disease deaths and cancer deaths and nearly eight in 10 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) deaths are caused by tobacco use. Tobacco use almost always begins during adolescence, and most adults who smoke want to quit, but overcoming an addiction to nicotine is difficult and often requires multiple quit attempts.

OSH has a vital role to play in addressing tobacco use. OSH provides grants to states and territories to support tobacco prevention and cessation programs, runs a highly successful national media campaign called Tips from Former Smokers (Tips), conducts research on tobacco use, and develops best practices for reducing it. Additional resources will allow OSH to address the threat to public health posed by high rates of youth e-cigarette use while continuing to prevent and reduce other forms of tobacco use. With additional resources:

  • CDC could strengthen efforts to assist groups who are disproportionately harmed by tobacco products, including by designing and implementing prevention and cessation programs that are tailored to address their specific needs.
  • CDC could enhance efforts to end youth and young adult tobacco use, including e-cigarette use, by providing more resources to state and local health departments; educating youth, parents, health professionals, and others about tobacco products and the harms associated with their use; and identifying evidence-based strategies to protect youth and young adults from initiating tobacco use.
  • CDC could expand a program that we know works to reduce tobacco use: the Tips media campaign. From 2012 through 2018, the Tips campaign helped approximately one million people who smoke quit, prevented an estimated 129,100 smoking-related deaths, and saved an estimated $7.3 billion in health care costs.

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